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John 4

So when Jesus knew that the Pharisees had heard that he was making more disciples than John, and was baptizing them (Jesus himself didn’t baptize people; it was his disciples who were doing it), he left Judaea and went back to Galilee.

There is no place for jealousy or competition in the Christian family. Jesus looks at the churches of a city as one church as we can see if we consider the churches spoken of in the Book of Revelation, for instance. In other words, there isn’t LIFEhouse as an individual group of Christians and then other Lutheran churches and then Roman Catholic and Baptist churches and such. There is one church locally. The church of  Jesus in Los Angeles, as it were.

Currently, we see the Pharisees, the Jewish religious authorities, are bringing trouble to Jesus and John the Baptist. The way they are carrying out their ministry isn’t proper to them. Jesus leaves Judea to avoid the problems the Pharisees could bring to him. This is an example of Jesus doing what he said to his mother at the wedding at Cana.

“It’s not my time, yet.”

Jesus will set his own agenda and not let the Pharisees force his hand. Something else interesting is recorded here. Remember the Gospel of John is an eyewitness account of one of Jesus’ closet followers. He will make editorial comments in his gospel so the non-Jewish readers will understand what is going on, and also to highlight greater detail in what he is writing. In our English translation of the Bible when we see these editorial words of John they are placed in parentheses.

(Jesus himself didn’t baptize people; it was his disciples who were doing it)

So, what is wrong with baptism that Jesus isn’t doing it? It is not about the act of baptism somehow being beneath Jesus, it is more about the disciples learning by doing. Jesus is teaching his disciples to do the things he does.

I would say he is also making sure everyone understands it is God doing the baptizing through the person, not the prestige of the person doing the baptism. You can see people later saying, “I was baptized by Jesus himself,” as a badge of honor or something. Jesus would have none of that.

ME

When infants are baptized, God is baptizing them. When adults are baptized, God is baptizing them.

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